Louis van Gaal
|Full name||Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal|
|Date of birth||8 August 1951|
|Place of birth||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Current club||Netherlands (Manager)|
|RKSV de Meer|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Louis van Gaal OON (Dutch pronunciation: [luˈwi vɑŋˈɣaːɫ]; born 8 August 1951) is a Dutch football manager who is the current manager of the Dutch national team. He was formerly coach for Ajax, Barcelona, AZ and Bayern Munich. Before his career as coach van Gaal played as a midfielder for Royal Antwerp, Telstar, Sparta Rotterdam and AZ. Van Gaal is also a fully qualified gymnastics teacher, and has worked as such at high-schools during various stages of his career as a semi-professional football-player.
After a brief spell as coach at AZ, Van Gaal served as assistant coach under Leo Beenhakker at Ajax, and eventually took over as head coach in 1991. Under his lead, the club won three league titles, the UEFA Cup, and the Champions League. Van Gaal moved to Barcelona in 1997 and won two Spanish league titles and one Spanish Cup. After some disagreements at Barcelona, he was appointed coach of the Dutch national team, but then failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. Another brief spell at Barcelona followed, before he became manager of AZ. After having won the Dutch championship with AZ in 2008–09, he was hired by Bayern Munich on 1 July 2009. In his first season at Munich, he secured the German league title and won the German Cup, and made it to the final of the Champions League.
Van Gaal is an avid promoter of attacking football, educated in the best traditions of the Total Football by Ajax and the Dutch national team of the 1970s. As a coach he is known as a slow starter who frequently finds his players needing ample time to grasp his tactics and intent of play. Generally his teams gather results in the second or third season under his coaching, an exception being the 2009–10 season when he grasped the German Bundesliga title and lost the UEFA Champions League final with FC Bayern Munich. During several periods in his career, Van Gaal has had his troubles with the media. He is known to be very blunt with media representatives he perceives to be asking him 'stupid' questions.
Playing and early coaching career 
Van Gaal was born in Amsterdam. As a youngster, Louis van Gaal started playing for the Amsterdam amateur side RKSV 'De Meer'. At the age of 20, he joined the second team of Ajax, but was never chosen to play in the first team, which at the time boasted players such as Johan Cruijff and Johan Neeskens in the midfield positions. After playing a few matches for Royal Antwerp, he returned to his homeland and made his Eredivisie debut for Telstar under the guidance of manager, Mircea Petescu, whom he followed to Sparta Rotterdam. Van Gaal later joined AZ, where he also became assistant coach in 1986. After a short career at AZ, he returned to Ajax to become Leo Beenhakker's assistant. When Beenhakker left in 1991, Van Gaal took over as manager.
Management career 
Ajax (1991–1997) 
He was Ajax manager from 1991 until 1997 and had a very successful tenure. Under Van Gaal, Ajax became the Eredivisie champions three times, in 1994, 1995 (notably going the entire 94–95 league season unbeaten in both the league and the Champions League) and 1996. He also led Ajax to the KNVB Cup in 1993 and the Johan Cruijff Shield in 1993, 1994, and 1995. On the European scene, Ajax captured the UEFA Cup in 1992 and the UEFA Champions League in 1995 after beating Milan in the final. The latter win was followed by a 5–1 aggregate win over Real Zaragoza in the 1995 UEFA Super Cup. Late in 1995, Ajax beat Brazilian side Grêmio on penalties to win the Toyota Cup (formerly Intercontinental Cup). Ajax were also Champions League runners-up in 1996 after losing to Juventus on penalties.
Ajax was so successful under Van Gaal's leadership that during the 1990s, the Dutch national team was dominated by Ajax players such as Patrick Kluivert, Marc Overmars, Dennis Bergkamp, Frank and Ronald de Boer, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Winston Bogarde, Michael Reiziger, and Edwin van der Sar.
Barcelona (1997–2000) 
He moved to Barcelona in 1997, taking over from Bobby Robson and helped the team win two league championships (1997–98, 1998–99) and the Spanish Cup once. Despite this success, he clashed with the media and came under criticism. Van Gaal expressed that it was difficult to implement his football philosophy at Barcelona due to cultural differences, and that he struggled hard as some players were unwilling to follow his lead. His rows with Rivaldo are an example of this. Van Gaal insisted Rivaldo play as a left winger, Rivaldo arguing that he wanted to play in the centre, in effect undermining van Gaal.
Van Gaal eventually left the Catalan side on 20 May 2000, uttering the immortal line: "Amigos de la prensa. Yo me voy. Felicidades." (Friends of the press. I am leaving. Congratulations.) He returned to the Netherlands to manage the Dutch national team in preparation for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Dutch National Team and return to Barcelona (2000–2003) 
The Dutch national team failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals, and subsequently Van Gaal stepped down as manager on 31 January 2002 to be replaced by Dick Advocaat. After this, speculation began that Van Gaal would succeed Alex Ferguson at Manchester United once Ferguson claimed he would retire that year. According to Van Gaal Ferguson decided against retiring and the deal fell through. He returned to Barcelona for a short spell, but left the job halfway during the season to be replaced by Radomir Antić.
Return to Ajax (2004) 
In 2004, he returned to Ajax as a technical director, but resigned later that year due to an internal conflict.
AZ (2005–2009) 
In January 2005 it was announced that he would replace Co Adriaanse as AZ manager on 1 July 2005. AZ finished the 2006–2007 season in third place in the Eredivisie, three points behind champions PSV and runners-up Ajax. Van Gaal also led AZ to a runners-up finish in the 2007 KNVB Cup. AZ failed to reach the UEFA Champions League after losing to Ajax 4–2 on aggregate.
Louis van Gaal initially announced he would leave AZ at the end of the 2007–08 season due to disappointing results. However, when several players of the AZ squad pointed out that they would like Van Gaal to stay with AZ for the 2008–09 season, van Gaal said he would give the players a chance to prove themselves.
2008–09 season: Eredivisie champions
AZ started the 2008–09 season with two losses: 2–1 to NAC Breda and 0–3 to ADO Den Haag, but after that the Alkmaar-based club remained unbeaten until 18 April, topping the League ahead of Twente and Ajax for the entire season. AZ had the best defensive record in the Eredivisie and the second-best goalscoring record, behind Ajax, thanks to its offensive duo of league topscorer Mounir El Hamdaoui and Brazilian Ari. They were crowned league champions on 19 April, one day after AZ suffered an unexpected loss at home to Vitesse, which ended a string of 28 unbeaten games. That same day Ajax, the only opponent still in theory able to surpass AZ, lost 6–2 to PSV.
Bayern Munich (2009–2011) 
On 1 July 2009, Van Gaal took over as coach of Bayern Munich. Van Gaal referred to his new employer as a "dream club". He got off to a poor start as Bayern Munich coach, winning only one of his first four matches in charge and by November the club was on the brink of a first round Champions League exit following two losses to Bordeaux. With Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the Bundesliga, speculation was rampant that Van Gaal was on the brink of a departure from Bayern even earlier than his predecessor Jürgen Klinsmann. Van Gaal however kept insisting he is a prozesstrainer meaning that his team needs time to play the way he imagines. On 28 August 2009 Van Gaal strengthened his team by getting Arjen Robben from Real Madrid, this reunited him with Van Gaal who debuted him in the Dutch National U20 team. A feud with Italian striker Luca Toni who had played an important role in Bayern's 2007–08 League and Cup Double led to Toni's move to Roma. However, Bayern Munich's form improved with two Champions League victories including an impressive 4–1 victory over Juventus in Turin, which allowed them to progress from their group in second position behind Bordeaux. Also Bayern Munich moved on the semifinals of the German Cup and were top of the Bundesliga ahead of Leverkusen by March. On 24 March 2010 Bayern played the semi-final of the German Cup against Schalke 04. They won the game in extra time, advancing to the final of the German Cup.
On 8 May 2010, FC Bayern were finally crowned champions of the Bundesliga following a 3–1 win at Hertha BSC. This feat made Louis van Gaal the first ever Dutch coach to win the Bundesliga. Bayern also won the DFB-Pokal on 15 May 2010, thus securing their domestic double and making Van Gaal the winner of the Cup in the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.
In the Champions League, Bayern won 4–4 on the Away goals rule in the quarter-final against Manchester United. Bayern also won 4–0 on aggregate over Olympique Lyonnais in the semi-final. secured a spot in the final. Van Gaal was to meet his former pupil and assistant at Barcelona José Mourinho, who was coaching Inter Milan. Bayern lost the Champions League Final 2–0, handing Inter a first Italian treble and thus failing to secure the treble themselves. On 25 May 2010 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expressed his desire to extend Van Gaal's contract as the club was very happy with his performance, even though Van Gaal still had one year of his contract to fulfill.
Van Gaal won the DFL-Supercup with Bayern in 2010 after it was reinstalled after a 14-year absence. At the end of the season Van Gaal was voted Manager of the Year by the German professional footballers in the yearly poll organized by VDV (professional players' union in Germany) and kicker.
In addition, Van Gaal instilled many youth players are fixtures in the starting 11, including Thomas Müller, Holger Badstuber and also reinvented the winger Bastian Schweinsteiger into a defensive midfielder.
On 7 March 2011, Bayern Munich declared that van Gaal's contract was to be cancelled after the end of the 2010–11 season, nevertheless he was sacked on 10 April 2011 after losing the third place in the Bundesliga.
Return to Netherlands national team (2012–) 
On 6 July 2012, Van Gaal was presented as the new Netherlands coach. "I am happy that the KNVB approached me," said Van Gaal, who will be assisted by former Dutch internationals Danny Blind and Patrick Kluivert, both part of his successful Ajax squad from 1995. "This is the challenge which I have been waiting for."
Coaching philosophy 
When asked about his system in 2008, van Gaal said: "It's a footballing philosophy more than a system. A system depends on the players you have. I played 4–3–3 with Ajax, 2–3–2–3 with Barcelona and I can play 4–4–2 with AZ. I'm flexible. The philosophy stays the same though. I don't think that you can adapt it to every possible situation. You need the right mindset, and it depends on how the players see the coach and vice versa. The coach is the focal point of the team but you need to have an open mind, and so do all the players. Everyone needs to work together to achieve a common goal. Preparing your tactical formation is essential. Each player needs to know where he has to be, and that is why there needs to be mutual understanding because you need absolute discipline. This is a sport played by 22 men, and there are 11 opponents out there playing as a team. Each individual needs to know who he has to beat and be there to support his team-mates."
Career statistics 
Managerial statistics 
- As of 26 March 2013
|Ajax||28 September 1991||30 June 1997||278||190||50||38||666||219||+447||68.35|
|Barcelona||1 July 1997||20 May 2000||166||93||30||43||342||221||+121||56.02|
|Netherlands||3 July 2000||1 February 2002||14||8||4||3||37||9||+28||57.14|
|Barcelona||1 July 2002||28 January 2003||30||16||5||9||51||34||+17||53.33|
|AZ||1 July 2005||30 June 2009||176||102||38||36||368||183||+185||57.95|
|Bayern Munich||1 July 2009||10 April 2011||96||59||18||19||214||108||+106||61.46|
|Netherlands||6 July 2012||Present||9||6||2||1||23||7||+16||66.67|
Managerial honours 
- Eredivisie (3): 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96
- KNVB Cup (1): 1992–93
- Johan Cruijff Shield (3): 1993, 1994, 1995
- UEFA Champions League (1): 1994–95
- UEFA Cup (1): 1991–92
- UEFA Super Cup (1): 1995
- Intercontinental Cup (1): 1995
- Bayern Munich
Awards and achievements 
- Rinus Michels Award (2): 2007, 2009
- Dutch Sports Coach of the Year: 2009
- Die Sprachwahrer des Jahres (3rd place): 2009
- German Football Manager of the Year: 2010
See also 
- List of European Cup and UEFA Champions League winning managers
- List of UEFA Cup winning managers
- List of investors in Bernard L. Madoff Securities
- Meindert van der Kaaij, Louis van Gaal, 1997, Utrecht, ISBN 90-6481-277-2, Page 43 onw.
- James, Ryland (15 May 2009). "Bayern expect top marks from football professor Van Gaal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Over Louis" [About Louis] (in Dutch). louisvangaal.nl. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "Van Gaal quits Barca". BBC. 20 May 2000. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- Tynan, Gordon (22 December 1999). "Rivaldo is dropped following row with Van Gaal". The Independent (London). Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "Louis van Gaal". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "Man U close in on Van Gaal". The Guardian (London). 23 January 2002. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- "Louis Van Gaal: I Was Sir Alex Ferguson's Replacement At Manchester United". goal.com. 11 October 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- "Van Gaal leaves Barca". BBC. 28 January 2003. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Jacht op eerherstel heropend". Trouw (in Dutch). 15 January 2005. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Van Gaal to take charge at Alkmaar". CNN. 14 January 2005. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- Ruizenaar, Theo (28 March 2008). "Van Gaal to step down as AZ Alkmaar coach". Reuters. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- "AZ Alkmaar loses 2–1 to Vitesse in Dutch soccer league Saturday". The Canadian Press. 18 April 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- "AZ Alkmaar wins Dutch First Division soccer title after PSV downs Ajax". The Canadian Press. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- "Alkmaar approve switch: Van Gaal poised to take Bayern helm". FC Bayern. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- "Bayern appoint Van Gaal as coach". BBC Sport. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- James, Ryland (15 May 2009). "Bayern expect top marks from football professor Van Gaal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
- "FC Bayern München, "Ferguson? Capello?"". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). 16 October 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
- "Arjen Robben signs for Bayern Munich". USA Today. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- "Van Gaal delighted with Robben". Virginmedia.com. 29 August 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- "Bayern celebrate title with win". ESPN. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "What a season...". Bundesliga.de. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Bayern win Cup to clinch Double". BBC. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- "United buckle under Bayern strain". UEFA. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "Olić treble takes brilliant Bayern to Madrid". UEFA. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "Soccer: Master Van Gaal takes on to pupil Mourinho". Associated Press. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Bayern Munich 0 – 2 Internazionale". ESPN Soccernet. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
- "Bayern want Van Gaal extension". Sky Sports. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
- "Bundesliga – Bayern win German Supercup". Eurosport. 7 August 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- "Robben voted Germany's top Footballer". Supersport.com. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- "Hohe Auszeichnung für Van Gaal und Robben". FcBayern.de. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- "Trainer des Jahres: Das Wahlergebnis". licker (in GErman). 8 August 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- "Van Gaal Trainer bis Saisonende – Einvernehmliche Vertragsauflösung zum 30.6.2011". FcBayern.de. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "FC Bayern and Louis van Gaal part company". FC Bayern Munich. 10 April 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- "Van Gaal returns to Dutch hot-seat". FIFA. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- Scholten, Berend (6 July 2012). "Van Gaal returns for second Netherlands spell". UEFA. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Louis van Gaal". Transfermarkt. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Barcas Trainer van Gaal gibt auf". kicker (in German). 20 May 2000. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Louis van Gaal soll auf Rijkaard folgen". kicker (in German). 3 July 2000. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Bondscoach Van Gaal tritt zurück". kicker (in German). 30 November 2001. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Van Gaal kehrt nach Barcelona zurück". kicker (in German). 13 May 2002. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "FC Barcelona entlässt van Gaal". kicker (in German). 28 January 2003. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Van Gaal honoured with 'Rinus Michels Award'". AEFCA. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2010.
- "Louis van Gaal coach van het jaar" [Louis van Gaal coach of the year] (in Dutch). NU.nl. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Van Gaal zählt zu den Sprachwahrern des Jahres" [Van Gaal among the keepers of the language of the year] (in German). Augsburger Allgemeine. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
- "Trainer des Jahres: Das Wahlergebnis". kicker. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Louis Van Gaal|
- Louis Van Gaal Official Website (Dutch)
- Profile and stats at Voetbal International (Dutch)
- CV Louis van Gaal (Dutch)
- Van Gaal: My football philosophy, from FIFA.com